Bruce Ware presented an address on “Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” at Denton Bible Church, June 22, 2008. Professor Denny Burk recapped Ware’s 10 points in a blog post which generated hundreds of comments Bruce Ware‚Äôs Complementarian Reading of Genesis:
“Dr. Ware explains how Genesis 1-3 teaches male headship as a part of God‚Äôs pre-fall creation.”
The 10 points of Ware’s message are the topic of a discussion thread on Equality Central’s Forum (click here)
Here is a sampling of reaction to Dr. Ware’s sermon:
Commenting on selected passages from the first three chapters of Genesis, Ware said Eve’s curse in the Garden of Eden meant “her desire will be to have her way” instead of her obeying her husband, “because she’s a sinner.”
Ware also touched on a verse from First Timothy saying that women “shall be saved in childbearing,” by noting that the word translated as “saved” always refers to eternal salvation.
“It means that a woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God’s ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as–for the most part, generally this is true–as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man’s position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men,” Ware said. “Rather than wanting that, she accepts and embraces who she is as woman, because she knows God and she knows his ways are right and good, so she is marked as a Christian by her submission to God and in that her acceptance of God’s design for her as a woman.” (more…)
In The cause of abuse blogger Suzanne McCarthy alerted her readership to this- quoted from Dr. Ware’s message:
The very wise and good plan of God, of male headship, is sought to be overturned as women now, as sinners, want instead to have their way, instead of submitting to their husbands, to do what they would like to do, and seek to work to have their husbands fulfill their will, rather than serving them;
and their husbands on their part, because they are sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is, of course, one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged, or more commonly by becoming passive, acquiescing and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and churches. (more…)
This one is my personal favorites (as a wife who has been there and done that), a “life in the trenches” testimony from a husband who has been there and done that: from retired Pastor Bruce Gerencser’s World According to Bruce
I was the head honcho, chief of the tribe, CEO of our family. I ruled the kingdom with a rod of iron. I made all the decisions.
And we had a lousy marriage. (more….)
Ware is also perpetuating his horrific acceptance of domestic violence and subjugation of women to his audience, and through them, to how many others? This man is a professor in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is in a position of authority. People look up to him and follow his example.
Ware seems to think that if the wife submits enough to her abusive spouse the abuse will surely end. While it might happen on that very rare occasion the truth is that the abuse will not stop and does he not think that the victims have not already tried his suggestion (along with everything else they can think of to make things better). (more…)
Longwood University Physics Professor, Rodney Dunning on his blog Very Important Stuff
Ware and other fundamentalists believe that God created men and women differently, with different roles assigned to each gender. When women ‚Äúrebel‚Äù against their God-assigned role, they sin. But of course, there is always hope that women will accept their place in the world: (more…)
Tony Cartledge- professor/journalist writes on his “Baptists Today Blogs”
Fundamentalists moan that Christians have fallen prey to cultural shifts that have promoted women’s rights and allowed women to think they might be qualified to stand on an equal footing in their marriages, their workplace, or even the pulpit.
They do so, however, on the basis of biblical texts that are clearly products of their own culture. The same biblical texts that talk about submissive women also speak often of human slavery but offer no words of condemnation. For modern interpreters to claim that slavery was a cultural anomaly but male domination is an eternal principle is nothing more than bad hermeneutics fueled by men who like being in charge and fear losing their power.
The professor did not put all the blame on non-submissive women for abuse they might receive — he admitted that men are sinners, too — but promoting a theology that tells men they should expect their wives to be submissive is just priming the pump for domestic violence.
And that makes me mad.
I suspect I’m not the only one. (more...)
Nope, Tony, you’re not the only one!
Here are links to several other blogs where this controversy is being discussed. They are all equally interesting reading, but I have run out of time for adding more quotes:
Under Much Grace
Adventures in Mercy: Bruce Ware: Women Saved by Salvation, through Obedient Wombs
Jim West: If You Beat Your Wife, It‚Äôs Her Fault?
Texas in Africa
Ministry of Reconciliation
Discussion of Topics related to this controversy are ongoing at Equality Central Forums